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Who qualifies for the free solar grants?

The government is providing full solar panel grants to homes across the UK. Just fill in our quick online application to check your eligibility!

solar panel grants

Who qualifies for free solar panel grants in the UK

Eligibility for solar panel grants in the UK can vary depending on the specific scheme or incentive. Here are some of the key criteria for different solar panel funding options:

Energy Company Obligation (ECO4)scheme (including LA Flex)

To qualify for a solar panel grant in the UK, eligibility criteria typically include having a household income of £31,000 a year or less, being a homeowner or private tenant, and meeting specific requirements under schemes like the ECO4 scheme. 

To be eligible for the ECO4 solar panel grant, your property must have an EPC grade of E, F, or G. 

These grants are designed to assist low-income homeowners and tenants in accessing solar panel funding options provided by the UK government.

If you receive any of the following benefits, you could be eligible for ECO4 funding: 

  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC)
  • Child Tax Credits (CTC)
  • Pension Credit Guarantee
  • Pension Credit Savings Credit

The Child Benefit income threshold to qualify for ECO4 varies depending on how many children you have and whether you’re a single or two-parent household.

Single-parent households:

One child – £19,900
Two children – £24,800
Three children – £29,600
Four or more children – £34,500
Two-parent households:

One child – £27,500
Two children – £32,300
Three children – £37,200
Four or more children – £42,000

Local Authority Flexibility (LA Flex)

LA Flex is available to those who aren’t in receipt of tested means-tested benefits but are living in fuel poverty or are on a low income and vulnerable to residing in a cold home.

Income-Related Criteria:

You don’t need to be in receipt of tested means-tested benefits.

Eligibility is extended to those living in fuel poverty or on a low income and vulnerable to residing in a cold home.

EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) Ratings:

Your home should have an EPC rating of D to G (specific requirements may vary for certain eligibility routes).

Local councils have the flexibility to determine eligibility criteria in their region, which can include factors such as age, health of residents, number of people in the house, condition of the home, etc.

Solar Together

To be eligible for the Solar Together scheme in the UK, residents must either own their own house or have permission from the landlord to install solar panels.

Additionally, to join a Solar Together scheme, individuals must live in a council that is participating in the program.

Installers working with Solar Together must be MCS accredited and either RECC or HIES members to enter the qualification process, ensuring high-quality installation.

This initiative offers a cost-effective way for residents and businesses to access solar panel and battery storage installations, promoting energy efficiency and sustainability.

 

Home Upgrade Scheme (HUG2)

To be eligible for the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG), you must meet specific the below criteria:
 
MeansTested Benefits or Household Income: You need to either claim one of the listed means-tested benefits or have a household income of £31,000 or less to qualify for funding
Low-Income Household: Eligibility is often based on being a low-income household.
Off the Gas Grid: The scheme targets households that are off the gas grid.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band: Eligible homes typically have an EPC between bands D and G.

Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan Scheme

 

To be eligible for the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan, you must meet the following criteria:

Eligibility for Solar Panel Grants:

HomeownersIf you own the property you live in, you are eligible to apply for the grant and loan scheme.

Building Your Own HomeIf you’re constructing your own home, you can apply for a loan specifically for renewable systems (such as solar panels), but not for other energy-efficient improvements.

Landlords, Businesses, and Property Developers: Unfortunately, landlords, businesses, and property developers are not eligible to apply for this scheme.

Grant and Loan Amounts for Solar Panels:

Grant Funding: For energy efficiency improvements, the grant covers up to 75% of the combined cost of the improvements, with a maximum grant amount of £7,500. If your household qualifies for the rural uplift, the maximum grant amount increases to £9,000.

Heat Pumps: The grant for heat pumps is also up to £7,500, or £9,000 if you qualify for the rural uplift.

Optional Interest-Free Loan: You can choose to take the remaining funding as an optional interest-free loan.

Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)

To meet the eligibility requirements for the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), you must have a renewable electricity generating system that aligns with the SEG criteria. This includes having a meter capable of tracking the electricity you export back to the grid.

The SEG covers various technologies such as solar photovoltaic (solar PV), wind, micro combined heat and power (micro-CHP), hydro, and anaerobic digestion (AD).

Additionally, some electricity suppliers, known as SEG Licensees, are mandated to adhere to specific eligibility criteria for the scheme.

If you fulfill these conditions and have a qualifying renewable energy system, you can potentially earn money by exporting your generated electricity back to the grid under the SEG.

Zero VAT

 
In the UK, the zero rate of VAT applies to solar panel products, including the installation of specific Energy Saving Materials in residential accommodation.
 
Homeowners can benefit from a 0% VAT rate on solar panels and heat pumps, encouraging the adoption of energy-efficient systems.
 
This change was introduced to promote the installation of solar panels, heat pumps, and insulation by making them more financially accessible. 
 
The standard VAT rate in the UK is typically 20%, but certain goods and services, like solar panels and other energy-saving materials, qualify for reduced rates or exemptions, including a 0% VAT rate.
 

Go Green, Save Big! Apply for a Solar Panel Grant Now.

What are the benefits of free solar panel grants?

The benefits of free solar panel grants include:

  1. Cost Offset: Solar panel grants provide financial incentives that help reduce the upfront cost of installing solar panels, making renewable energy more accessible.
  2. Energy Bill Savings: Households can save on energy bills by generating their own electricity. The ECO4 scheme, for example, can help reduce energy bills by up to £1,000 annually, and the least energy-efficient homes can save up to £1,600 annually.
  3. Environmental Benefits: Solar panels reduce carbon emissions by generating clean electricity from sunlight, contributing to the UK’s net zero emissions goal.
  4. Support for Vulnerable Households: The ECO4 scheme offers funding to low-income, fuel-poor, and vulnerable households, helping them to reduce their carbon footprint and save on energy bills.
  5. Increased Property Value: Installing solar panels can increase the value of a property by improving its energy efficiency rating.
  6. Smart Export Guarantee (SEG): Households can earn money by exporting surplus electricity back to the grid through the SEG, which can be claimed from the energy supplier.
  7. Reduced Dependency on Grid: Solar panels decrease reliance on the energy grid, providing energy security and potential savings during energy price hikes.
  8. Long-Term Investment: Despite the initial cost, solar panels are a long-term investment that can provide savings and benefits for many years.
  9. VAT Reduction: The UK government announced a reduction of VAT for solar panels from 5% to 0% for a 5-year period, further reducing installation costs.
  10. Wider Eligibility: The ECO4 scheme has broadened eligibility criteria, not just limited to household income or benefits, but also considering factors like age, health, and property condition.

These grants are part of the UK’s broader strategy to encourage the adoption of renewable energy sources and improve energy efficiency across the country.

Apply for a grant today

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you do not qualify for free solar panel grants in the UK, there are still other options available to assist you in accessing solar panels.

These options may include different funding schemes, financing options, or incentives that can help make solar energy more affordable for you. It’s advisable to explore alternative funding sources and schemes to support your transition to solar energy even if you do not qualify for free grants.

A 4kW solar system in the UK typically generates around 3,400kWh of electricity per year, according to estimates. This translates to an average daily output of approximately 9.3kWh.

Yes, in the UK, there are still government grants available for solar panels. One of the active schemes is the ECO4 program, which provides support for installing solar panels.

Additionally, the HUG2 scheme has been running since April 2023 and will continue to accept applications until March 2025, specifically supporting low-income families with grants of up to £10,000. These grants aim to encourage the adoption of solar panels as an energy-saving and sustainable investment.

The payback period for solar panels in the UK varies, with an average range of 12 to 26 years. However, recent developments have shown a decrease in this period, with some cases reporting a payback period of just 4 years. Factors such as energy consumption patterns and system size influence the payback time.
 
Despite the initial investment, solar panels are considered a worthwhile long-term investment due to savings on energy bills and potential earnings over time.
 
 
 

The average cost of installing solar panels in the UK ranges from £5,000 to £13,000, including both supply and installation costs. Specifically, the cost of a solar panel system is around £7,000 on average, with homeowners benefiting from a 0% VAT rate on solar installations until 2027.

The price of a single 350W solar panel in the UK typically falls between £150 and £300. Overall, the cost of solar panels varies based on factors like system size and specific installation requirements.

Yes, pensioners in the UK can receive grants for solar panels. These grants are specifically designed to support pensioners with low income and energy inefficient homes. The government offers these grants to help improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs for pensioners. Additionally, there are free energy-saving grants available for pensioners across the UK.
 
Pensioners who receive the Pension Guarantee Credit can also benefit from grants for solar panels under the UK government’s ECO Scheme.